Results tagged “recommendations.”

The Day Women Won the Right to Vote

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On August 26, 1920, the nineteenth amendment, permitting women the right to vote, became law. Suffrage for women was first proposed during the Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention in 1848. The nineteenth amendment was endorsed by the United States Senate on June 4, 1919, and sent to the states for ratification. Wisconsin was one of the first states to ratify the amendment.
The Library of Congress's American Memory has a large collection of resources relating to women's fight to gain the vote. Milwaukee Public Library also has a variety of material available.



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Great Weather Resource

NOAA weather map
Did last week's heat wave catch you by surprise? To avoid this in the future keep up with the weather using the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's website (NOAA, for short). It's easy to type in your city or zip code and get 7-day forecasts, radar and satellite images and detailed lists of hazardous weather conditions.

NOAA has a lot of other information on its website, so it's worth poking around. Highlights include archived weather information, all-time climate extremes data and weather safety tips.



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Empress of the Blues

BessieSmith.jpg Bessie Smith, also known as "The Empress of the blues", was born on April 15. There is conflicting census information about the year of her birth. The 1900 census states Smith was born that year, but the 1910 census states she was born in 1894, which is the year used by her family. The daughter of a part-time laborer and preacher, Bessie had lost her father, mother and a brother by the time she was nine years old. Bessie turned to street performance in order to earn money for the remainder of her family. Bessie sang and danced while her brother played the guitar. She eventually became the biggest headliner for the Theater Owners Booking Association, the vaudville circuit for African American performers.
Pay tribute to the empress by checking out CDs and listening to her rich voice, reading about her tragic life, or watching her perfomances.


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January 28, 1986

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Many people remember where they were on January 28, 1986 when the spaceshuttle Challenger exploded about a minute after take-off. The explosion caused the death of all seven on board, including Christa McAulliffe, a New Hampshire educator chosen to be the first teacher in space. The explosion shocked the nation and cooled over two decades of national interest in space exploration.

Much has been written about that fateful day, and the teacher that wanted to push the boundaries of education. The library also has a documentary about space exploration, with a chapter about the Challenger disaster.



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First American Novel Published.

18th century reader.jpg On January 21, 1789, the first American novel was published in Boston. The Power of Sympathy: or, The Triumph of Nature, by William Hill Brown advocates rational thinking and moral education to avoid dangerous situations caused by giving into one's base instincts.
The Milwaukee Public Library owns a copy of a later printing of this famous novel. Patrons can request this material at the information desk. The text of this novel is also availabe through archive.org, which is run by Cornell University. Many critics believe the text mirrors the political situation of the infant United States. Experience a piece of history by reading the first American novel!



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Milwaukee Justice Center

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Do you need legal forms or guidance related to divorce, child custody, child support, landlord/tenant disputes, name changes, or small claims? The new website of the Milwaukee Justice Center may be able to help. The Milwaukee Bar Association and the Marquette University Law School have formed a partnership to provide services to low-income people who need to represent themselves in court. Legal advice is not provided, but their extensive guides should help people navigate Milwaukee County's court system on their own. In addition, volunteer staff are available in Room G9 of the County Courthouse. They also host free, walk-in legal clinics for civil cases:

Family Law Clinic:

Monday 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Tuesday 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Wednesday 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM


Small Claims & Foreclosure Clinic:

Thursday 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Submitted by Jacki @ MPL Central.



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Princess Grace

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On November 12, 1929, Grace Kelly, also known as Princess Grace of Monaco, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Before she became Her Serene Highness the Princess of Monaco, she was an Academy Award winning actress. She starred in the Alfred Hitchcock films Dial M for Murder and Rear Window. In celebration of her birthday, check out biographies about this facinating woman, or watch her interview with Merv Griffin. While her life was tragically cut short by an auto accident in 1982, her legend lives on in a variety of media.



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Dark Day in October

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Most of us remember the housing bubble bust in 2008 and the subsequent collapse of large financial enities that came to be termed "The Great Recession". But only those of a certain age remember the days of economic collapse that occurred during the month of October in 1929. On October 29, 1929, share prices on the New York Stock Exchange collapsed, spiralling the country into a ten year economic slump known as the Great Depression. You can find similarities between the two crashes by watching the American Experience The Crash of 1929 . Also, see how the crash of 1929 and following depression changed our country's fundamental ideas about capitalism with The hellhound of Wall Street : how Ferdinand Pecora's investigation of the Great Crash forever changed American finance by Michael Perino.



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October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month!

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The ASPCA declared the month of October adopt a shelter dog month. If you ever considered adopting a dog from the humane society or from a rescue, the library has books and DVDs about how to to help you choose a breed that works with your lifestyle, what to look for in a shelter dog, how to help your dog adjust to life with you, and how to train your new friend. If you already have all the animals you can handle, but like heartwarming stories about shelter animals finding good homes, the library has a variety of books and DVDs on that topic as well.


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Are you a genius?

BrainThis week the MacArthur Foundation announced its Fellows Program winners. These awards, often referred to as "genius" grants, come with a $500,000 stipend that can be used however the winner chooses. The primary purpose of the MacArthur Fellows Program is "to enable recipients to exercise their own creative instincts for the benefit of human society."

There are 23 fellows this year including an indigenous language preservationist, a stone carver, a fiction writer, an author/screenwriter/producer and a high school physics teacher. The winners received phone calls in the past two weeks telling them they were selected. Most didn't even know they were under consideration.

Check out the MacArthur Foundation Website where you can watch videos about each winner and learn more about the program. And, yes, you should take this as an invitation to be creative in your own daily endeavors. You never know who's watching.


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Everyone Loves A Contest

I love contests, so when I heard about Challenge.gov I was ecstatic. The idea behind this Website is that U.S. government agencies post challenges and the public provides solutions. Examples of current challenges include creating nutritious school lunch recipes, composing wake-up songs for NASA astronauts, and developing digital forensic investigative tools, techniques, and methodologies. There are also often prizes for solving challenges.


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I've had some problems accessing the site, but hopefully they'll get all the bugs worked out soon. From what I've seen I think it'll be worth the wait. Now you'll have to excuse me while I try to help NASA find new ways for astronauts to do their laundry in space.


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Octopi, Octopuses, Octopodes and More

OctopusI have found Merriam-Webster.com to be a great place to look up definitions of words and to listen to proper pronunciations. And recently, thanks to the advice of a colleague (thank you, Jacki!), I discovered Merriam-Webster offers even more online. Here's a list of other helpful features you can find on Merriam-Webster's Website:

• Videos - Wondering what the plural of octopus is? How about the difference between rein and reign? Merriam-Webster offers clear, concise videos on a variety of topics (and they're interesting to watch!).

• Trend Watch - If you want to learn about words that have been top lookups recently on Merriam-Webster.com check out their Trend Watch page. For example, on August 11 one of the top lookups was rancor thanks to the jurors in the trial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. They used it in their note to the judge.

• Top 10 Lists - For the curious among us, Merriam-Webster offers Top 10 Lists that are helpful, Top 10 Commonly Confused Words, and fun, Words For Things You Didn't Know Have Names.

• New Words & Slang - This is Merriam-Webster's collection of user-submitted words. It's where words go before they make it into the dictionary.

So whether you simply love words, want to improve your grammar and spelling, or need to submit a word for dictionary consideration, Merriam-Webster.com has something for you.


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Looking for Inspiration?

Summer is almost over. The new school year is here. The Labor Day weekend will be here and gone before we know it. I can certainly use a boost. How about you?


Ted Logo


A Website I often turn to when I need some inspiration (or education or a cure for boredom) is Ted.com. TED (it stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a small nonprofit organization that is "devoted to ideas worth spreading." Since 1984 they've hosted invitation-only conferences where some of the world's most fascinating people are challenged to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Fortunately for those of us not lucky enough to receive invites, TED makes these talks (called TEDTalks) available for free.

You can search over 700 TEDTalks and other performances TED calls Best of the Web. My favorite TedTalks include JJ. Abrams' Mystery Box and Malcolm Gladwell on Spaghetti Sauce. Some of the great performances they offer are the Stanford commencement speech Steve Jobs gave on How to Live Before You Die and Randy Pausch's Carnegie Mellon talk about Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.

Take a look for yourself (a good place to start is the Top 10 TedTalks). I bet you'll find something to take your mind off of the end of summer. Well, for 18 minutes anyway.


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Valentino: The Last Emperor

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The sounds of my September Vogue and W magazines thudding through the mail slot reminded me of the terrific documentary about editor Anna Wintour and artistic director Grace Coddington's struggle to publish the biggest issue of Vogue ever - The September Issue in 2007. The contrast between these two powerful women is fascinating as their personalities and visions clash and deadlines loom. Andre Leon Talley and designers John Galliano, Vera Wang, Thakoon and Karl Lagerfeld are interviewed about their fall collections and the power Wintour wields.

The clean and sober, physically fit Marc Jacobs of today bears little resemblance to the skinny, chain smoking obsessive seen in Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton. The notoriously secretive designer gave what seems to be near total access to the film maker who follows him through the creation of his own collection and the work he does for Louis Vuitton. The contrast between his vision and the needs of the international corporate giant is often poignant, but Jacobs never compromises.

Valentino is the king overthrown by market forces as seen in Valentino: the last emperor. This incredible documentary traces history of The House of Valentino and the two years before its final runway shows. Most intriguing are the hundreds of women and men behind the scenes who actually realize his fashion vision and allow him to enjoy a lifestyle lavish beyond belief. From hand stitching gowns to arranging hundreds of vases of flowers or herding Valentino's pugs and dyeing his lawn - these are the people who 'made it work'. His business partner of more than fifty years, Giancarlo Giammetti is especially insightful as he reflects on the cutthroat, high stakes world of haute couture today and his own long, often unappreciated role in Valentino's success.

Submitted by Christine P.



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Class of 2014

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At the start of each new school year Beloit College (located in Beloit, Wisconsin) releases its Beloit College Mindset List. Originally created in 1998 to remind Beloit faculty that the cultural references they make in class may not be understood by their students, the list serves as a look at the influential events and experiences of many incoming college freshmen.

This year's Beloit College Mindset List is for the Class of 2014 and the list has 75 items on it.

Examples of things the list says are true for this class include:
#7 - "Caramel macchiato" and "venti half-caf vanilla latte" have always been street lingo.
#12 - Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than Dirty Harry.
#27 - Computers have never lacked a CD-ROM disk drive.
#62 - Having hundreds of cable channels, but nothing to watch has always been routine.



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Lawrence of Arabia

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On August 16, 1888, Thomas Edward Lawrence, also known as T.E. Lawrence or Lawrence of Arabia, was born in Tremadog, North Wales. Lieutenant Colonel T.E. Lawrence was a British army officer that served as a liason during the Arab revolt against the Ottoman rulers. He was a prolific letter writer, and he also wrote an autobiographical account of his time in the Middle East called The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. You can learn more about the amazing life of T.E. Lawrence by reading his collections of letters, reading one of his biographies, or checking out any of the movies detailing his life.



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Remembering Nagasaki

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On August 9, 1945 a B-29 Superfortress named Bockscar dropped an atomic bomb codenamed "Fat Man" on the city of Nagasaki. Three days earlier, on August 6, the atomic bomb codenamed "Little Boy" was dropped on the city of Hiroshima. It is estimated that 60,000 to 80,000 people died in Nagazaki from the atomic bomb, while 90,000 to 160,000 died in Hiroshima. Several of those who died were unintended victims, including U.S. POW's and foreign students studying in Japan.
These events ushered in a new era of warfare that changed the geopolitical landscape of the 20th and 21st century. You can learn more about these events by either reading documents available at the Harry S. Truman library, browsing Milwaukee Public Library's collection of books on the topic, or watching the award winning White Light/Black Rain.


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EWWW! Mosquitoes!

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As the summer heat slogs on and the population of Milwaukee moves outside, those pesky critters known as mosquitoes appear to make our lives miserable. These insects from the Culicidae family are not only annoying, but are also disease vectors. Fortunately, you can learn more about mosquitoes and how to control them through the Badgerlink databases with a valid library card! Simply plug in your search terms in the "Search Databases" box at the top of the screen. Not only will results appear in the center of the screen, but you can limit your search to different databases by clicking on the links on the left hand side of the screen. You can find scientific articles about mosquitoes, or look for hints on how to control them. There are even links to databases to help your children learn about mosquitoes. Of course, if you would rather avoid mosquitoes all together and hang out in the comfort of air conditioning with a good book, check out Andrew Spielman's Mosquito: a natural history of our most persistent and deadly foe.


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June 14th is Flag Day

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Flag Day commemorates the day the Second Continental Congress of 1777 adopted the United States flag. June 14th was officially declared Flag Day by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916. Although not an official federal holiday, Flag Day is celebrated all over the United States with a variety of parades and parties. Celebrate Flag Day by reading Marla R. Miller's new book Betsy Ross and the Making of America, or any of the myriad books the library has about the history of the United States flag.


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March 22 is International World Water Day

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The United Nations General Assembly declared March 22, 1993 the first International World Water Day. International World Water Day is a reminder of how important freshwater resources are to the world. International World Water Day also serves to focus on advocating for sustainable management of freshwater resources. Since 1993, each International Water day focuses on a particular aspect of water resources. The theme in 2010 is "Clean Water for a Healthy World". Milwaukee Public Library has many books that can help you understand the issues surrounding the lack of clean water in certain areas of the globe and what can be done about it. Milwaukee Public Library also has many books for children on these topics.



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